WhatsApp update: New major features revealed

Cape Town – Popular messaging service WhatsApp will add a host of new features.

New features will include multi-device support and disappearing messages. The multi-device support had been long-rumoured and was much-anticipated.

Currently, WhatsApp is tied to one specific phone and number, meaning that it can only be used properly on that device. The Facebook-owned service offers a “web” version of the app, but this piggybacks on the primary version. Now users will be able to access their accounts from as many as four devices.

The announcement came as part of a conversation between Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart and WABetaInfo.

Zuckerberg assured users that even when using multiple devices, WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption will still be intact. Neither Facebook nor anyone else who is not part of them will be able to see the contents.

“It’ll still be end-to-end encrypted,” said Zuckerberg in a WhatsApp conversation with WaBetaInfo.

“It’s been a big technical challenge to get all your messages and content to sync properly across devices even when your phone battery dies, but we’ve solved this and we’re looking forward to getting it out soon.”

As well as the multiple device options, the “view once” and “disappearing mode” features will let people control how long their messages stay in their inbox. Users will be able to send content that disappears once it is viewed, like on Snapchat, or after a specific set of time.

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